Isotopes

Which isotope of nitrogen is more commonly found nitrogen-14 or nitrogen-15?

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September 24, 2015 5:14PM

Nitrogen 14 is by far the most abundant isotope (99.63%

abundant).

An easy way to figure out which one is the most abundant is to

look at the periodic table. The mass on the periodic table is the

weighted average of all possible isotopes. The atomic mass of

nitrogen is 14.00674. You can gather from this that the most

abundant isotope is N-14, since the number is VERY close to 14.

It is also possible to guess the most common isotope if you do

not have access to a periodic table. Nitrogen has 7 protons and the

most stable isotope is Nitrogen 14, which has 7 neutrons in

addition to the protons. In virtually all elements, the stable

isotopes are those that have the same or very similar number of

neutrons as the number of protons in the nucleus. This works for

Carbon which has 6 protons and 6 neutrons in the nucleus for Carbon

12, the most common isotope.

This is also true for Oxygen 16 (8P and 8N), Silicon 28 (14P and

14N), and just about any element you choose.

An isotope of nitrogen containing seven neutrons would be nitrogen

- 15.


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